East Asia

Countries of East Asia:
North Korea
South Korea

Political Map of East Asia
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Physical Map of East Asia
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Get to know more about the Geography of East Asia

East Asian Capitals
More East Asian Capitals
And more East Asian Capitals

Identify the countries of East Asia
Drag the right country to the right place on the map

Learn about the bodies of water around Asia
How well do you know the bodies of water around Asia

Learn about the rivers on the Asian Continent
How well do you know the rivers of the Asian Continent


China's two major rivers, the Huang He (Yellow River) and the Chang Jiang (Yangzi or Yangtze River), as well as the Pearl River (Zhu Jiang) delta system marked by the Xi Jiang (West River) in southeastern China, have provided the framework for agricultural development and population growth throughout China's history. Another river, the Heilong Jiang (known also as the Amur River, its Russian name) marks the border between China and Russia; at times in the past, this area was one of confrontation between the neighbors. The drainage basins of China's rivers differ in terms of extent and topography, offering varying opportunities for agricultural development. Because some of China's largest rivers have their source regions on the high Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau and drop great distances over their middle and lower courses, China is rich in hydroelectric resources.
Each of these rivers has special characteristics and associated problems at different locations along their courses. (Note that "he" and "jiang" are both translated into English as "river."

  • Huang He (Yellow River). China's second longest river, the Huang He rises in Qinghai province and flows some 5464 km to the Yellow Sea. Crystal clear lakes and sluggish meandering are characteristic in its upper reaches. Along the Great Bend of the Huang He in its middle course, the unruly river carves its way through the loessial plateau with substantial erosion taking place. As the river erodes the loess, it becomes a "river of mud" (Loessial soil is called huang tu or "yellow earth" in Chinese and it is the color of this suspended loess in the river that has given the Huang He its name "Yellow River.") Carrying 40% sediment by weight in summer (for other rivers in the world 3% would be considered a heavy sediment load), the river deposits vast amounts of alluvium as it courses across the North China Plain. Over the centuries, deposition has raised the bed of the Huang He so that it is in some ways "suspended" precariously above the lower surrounding agricultural areas, contained by levees and embankments built to control what historically was "China's Sorrow"— the bringer of flood and famine. The lower course of the Huang He has changed 26 times in China's history, most notably nine times including major floods in 1194 AD and again in 1853, that brought untold disaster to the villages and towns of the North China Plain. (See Map of Course Changes of the Huang He.) What was once a scourge that plagued the Chinese people throughout much of their history continues to be one of China's great natural challenges — preventing both flooding and drought in a region with more than 100 million people. Siltation at the mouth of the Huang He extended the length of the river by about 35 km (20 miles) between 1975 and 1991. The North China Plain is indeed a "gift" of the Huang He.

  • Chang Jiang (Yangzi River). As China's "main street," this artery courses over 6300 km through several of China's most economically developed regions. Excellent river ports — Shanghai, Zhenjiang, Nanjing, Wuhan, Yichang, and Chongqing — are located near or along the Chang Jiang, making it one of the world's busiest inland waterways. As much of 40% of the country's total grain production, 70% of the rice output, and more than 40% of China's population are associated with its vast basin that includes more than 3,000 tributaries. The flow of the Chang Jiang is some 20 times greater than that of the Huang He. With its numerous tributaries, the Chang Jiang drains nearly 20% of China's total area. Its upper reaches tap the uplands of the Tibetan Plateau before sweeping across the enormous and agriculturally productive Sichuan Basin that supports nearly 10% of China's total population. It is in the middle course of the Chang Jiang that the controversial Three Gorges Dam project is being constructed.
  • As a huge public works project — the largest dam in the world, rivaling the building not only of China's great historical projects such as the Grand Canal and Great Wall as well as modern projects elsewhere in the world — the Three Gorges Dam project is wrapped in environmental, engineering, and political controversy. Increasing clean energy, controlling floods, and stimulating economic development are but a few of objectives of the dam. Below the Three Gorges Dam are the great flood plains of the Chang Jiang as well as the major tributaries on its north and south banks. At the mouth of the river is the great and productive Yangzi delta and metropolitan Shanghai. With the completion of this project, disastrous floods are expected to be eliminated.
  • The second worst flood of the past 130 years struck the Chang Jiang valley in Summer 1998 and affected 240 million people, killing some 3656, and leaving 14 million homeless. The flood is estimated to have left 14 million people homeless, destroying 5 million houses,
  • damaging 12 million houses, flooding 25 million hectares of farmland, and causing over US$20 billion in estimated damages. On the adjacent infrared image, the extensive flooded area is shown in blue, other water areas in black, vegetation in red, and clouds in white.


The west of China is comprised of mountains and deserts as well as plateaus that do not provide much arable land for agriculture. Throughout most of history, the civilization that grew up to the east in what is today China was not surrounded by other nearby major civilizations. To this extent the Chinese were "isolated" from competing civilizations although there was a broad and fluid frontier zone on the western margins. This geographical fact is important to remember when discussing the Western encroachment on China from the sea during the late imperial period.
Although the mountains and deserts of the west limited contact between early imperial dynasties and other centers of civilization in the Inner Asia, Middle East, South Asia, and Europe, there were some important and notable exchanges of culture. The legendary Silk Road facilitated the exchange of goods and ideas between China and each of these areas.

Himalayas and Mt. Everest
Tibetan Plateau and pictures
Takla Makan Desert
Gobi Desert

Silk Road

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Great Wall History and Facts

On your weebly site, create a new page called "China".
You will be doing research to create 3 different Scribble maps
1. A map of the Qin Wall - label it and include dates when it was built
2. A map of the Han Wall - label it and include dates when it was built
3. A map of the Ming Wall - label it and include dates when it was built

30 Interesting Facts About the Great Wall of China . . .

  1. While the Great Wall of China is not one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, it is typically included in the Seven Wonders of the Medieval World.c
  2. That the Great Wall is a single, continuous wall built all at once is a myth. In reality, the wall is a discontinuous network of wall segments built by various dynasties to protect China’s northern boundary.e
  3. During its construction, the Great Wall was called “the longest cemetery on earth” because so many people died building it. Reportedly, it cost the lives of more than one million people.d
  4. The Great Wall of China is also known as the wanli changcheng or Long Wall of 10,000 Li (a li is a measure of distance, approximately 1/3 of a mile). The main wall is around 2,145 miles (3,460 km) long with an extra 1,770 miles (2,860 km) of branches and spurs.b
  5. The Great Wall of China is the longest man-made structure in the world.d
  6. The most visited section of the Great Wall is in Badaling, close to Beijing, which was built during the Ming Dynasty. It was the first section of the wall to open to tourists in 1957. It is where Nixon visited and was the finish site of a cycling course in the 2008 Summer Olympics.a
  7. As early as the seventh century B.C., a number of smaller walls that served as fortifications and watch towers had been built around the country. Initially each state (Chu, Qi, Wei, Han, Zhao, Yan, and Qin) that would be united in the first Chinese empire had its own individual wall.f
  8. The length of all Chinese defense walls built over the last 2,000 years is approximately 31,070 miles (50,000 km). Earth's circumference is 24,854 miles (40,000 km).a
  9. The earliest extensive walls were built by Qin Shi Huang (260-210 B.C.) of the Qin dynasty, who first unified China and is most famous for the standing terra cotta army left to guard his tomb. It is from the Qin (pronounced “chin”) dynasty which the modern word “China” is derived. Little of those earliest walls remain.g
  10. Because the Great Wall was discontinuous, Mongol invaders led by Genghis Khan (“universal ruler”) had no problem going around the wall and they subsequently conquered most of northern China between A.D. 1211 and 1223. They ruled all of China until 1368 when the Ming defeated the Mongols.e
  11. The dynasties after the Qin which seriously added to and rebuilt the Great Wall were the Han (206 B.C.-A.D. 220), Sui (A.D. 581-618), Jin (115-1234) and, most famously, the Ming (1368-1644). What survives today are the stone and brick walls predominately from the Ming dynasty.g
  12. Contrary to common belief, the Great Wall of China cannot be seen from the moon without aid. This pervasive myth seems to have started in 1893 in the American-published magazine The Century and then resurfaced in 1932 when Robert Ripley ofRipley’s Believe it Or Not claimed the Great Wall could be seen from the moon—even though space flight was decades away. It is questionable whether the Great Wall can be seen from a close orbit with the unaided eye.e
  13. At one time, family members of those who died working on the Great Wall would carry a coffin on top of which was a caged white rooster. The rooster's crowing was supposed to keep the spirit of the dead person awake until they crossed the Wall; otherwise, the family feared the spirit would escape and wander forever along the Wall.d
  14. During the Chinese Cultural Revolution (1966-78), the Great Wall was seen as sign of despotism, and people were encouraged to take bricks from it to use in their farms or homes.g
  15. President Nixon’s visit to China in 1972 increased tourism to the Great Wall. With increased tourism, sections of the Wall were restored, and after Mao Zedong’s death, the Chinese government recognized the Wall as a unifying symbol of the nation.a
  16. The Great Wall has often been compared to a dragon. In China, the dragon is a protective divinity and is synonymous with springtime and vital energy. The Chinese believed the earth was filled with dragons which gave shape to the mountains and formed the sinew of the land.a
  17. During the Ming dynasty, nearly one million soldiers were said to defend the Great Wall from “barbarians” and non-Chinese.e
  18. The manpower to build the Great Wall came from frontier guards, peasants, unemployed intellectuals, disgraced noblemen, and convicts. In fact, there existed a special penalty during the Qin and Han dynasties under which convicted criminals were made to work on the Wall.e
  19. Before the Ming dynasty, the wall was built with rammed earth, adobe, and stone. About 70% is made from rammed earth and adobe. Bricks were used after the Ming dynasty.
  20. The Chinese invented the wheelbarrow and used it extensively in building the Great Wall.
  21. A section of the Great Wall in the Gansu province may disappear in the next 20 years due to erosion.
  22. Watchtowers were built at regular intervals along the Great Wall and could be up to 40 feet tall. They were used as lookouts and fortresses as well as for housing garrisons of troops and stockpiled supplies. They were also signal stations, where beacons, smoke, or flags were used for messages. They also represented a tremendous diversity of architectural styles.
  23. The Great Wall’s western section, with a long chain of watchtowers, provided defense for those traveling the Silk Road.
  24. To defend the Great Wall, the Chinese would use sophisticated weapons such as axes, sledge hammers, lances, crossbows, halberds, and a Chinese invention: gunpowder.
  25. The last battle fought at the Great Wall was in 1938 during the Sino-Japanese War, which was between the Republic of China and the Empire of Japan. Bullet marks can still be seen in the Wall at Gubeikou.
  26. Numerous temples were built along the Great Wall for the worship of the war god, Guandi.
  27. The Great Wall of China is 25 feet high in some places and ranges from 15-30 feet wide.
  28. The highest point of the Great Wall is in Beijing at Heita Mountain (5,033 feet/1,534 meters). The lowest point is at Laolongtou (sea level).a
  29. In 2004, there were over 41.8 million foreign visitors to the Great Wall of China.
  30. While the Great Wall is currently a symbol of national pride, China struggles with how to manage and protect the Wall while controlling the mass-market development of it. Two organizations, the China Great Wall Society and the International Friends of the Great Wall, are dedicated to preserving it.






1. Look over your list of questions and list of Chinese Contributions
2. Pick either ONE question that you will find the answer to (level 2 or 3 only) OR one Contribution that you will explore further.
3. On your China page on your Weebly, you will put a title that either states your question or is the name of the Chinese contribution you chose
4. Gather as much information as you can in the form of Link (no URL's - hyperlinks only), Videos (no longer than 10 minutes), and photos (images must have hyperlinks to attributions for each one - a source link).
5. You must have an equal amount of links, video and images. MINIMUM of 3 each.